Situation Reports

Hurricane Matthew - Situation Report #6 as of 5:00 pm on October 4th, 2016

Message: Hurricane Matthew is expected to remain a powerful Category 4 hurricane as it passes over Hispaniola and Cuba. It continues to move in a northerly direction over the NorthWestern Caribbean.

  • A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Haiti; Cuba (specifically Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas); North-Western Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence; Central Bahamas which includes Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island; and South-Eastern Bahamas which includes the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island.
  • A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Camaguey province in Cuba.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti.
  • The Meteorological Service of Jamaica has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for the island.

EVENT: Hurricane Matthew, the 5th named hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, formed near the Windward Islands on September 28, 2016. As a Tropical Storm, Matthew impacted Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday September 28, 2016.

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 5:00 PM EDT (2100 UTC), Hurricane Matthew was located near latitude 19.8o North, longitude 74.3o West, approximately 30 miles (45 km) SSW of the eastern tip of Cuba.

PROGNOSIS: The National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates that maximum sustained winds are near 140 mph (220 km/h) with higher gusts. While some fluctuations in intensity are possible, Hurricane Matthew is expected to remain at Category 4 status into Thursday 6 October 2016. Hurricaneforce winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). Hurricane Matthew is forecast to produce in excess of 380 mm (15 inches) of rainfall, of which higher amounts are expected to precipitate over Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). It is also anticipated that the hurricane will produce dangerous storm surge in coastal areas of Hispaniola, Cuba and The Bahamas. Hurricane Matthew is moving toward the north near 9 mph (15 km/h).

North Western-Caribbean Participating States

The CDEMA CU maintains contact with the National Disaster Offices (NDOs) of Jamaica, Haiti, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Bahamas regarding their preparations for the impact from Hurricane Matthew. The Governments of these countries have been briefed and preparation activities are ongoing.

The Civil Protection Directorate reported that Hurricane Matthew seriously impacted Haiti from October 3rd – 4th, 2016. In the South and Grand-Anse regions serious flooding has been reported. The National Emergency Operational Center (NEOC) and the 10 departments of the country remain fully activated. The National Office of Aviation has advised that the Airport will remain closed until Wednesday October 6, 2016, pending further updates. The Office of Maritime Transportation has restricted maritime traffic.

Preliminary reports indicate the following:

  • 9,280 people have been evacuated and are in shelters.
  • 425 prisoners from Prisons in the region of Grand Anse and in the South have been relocated to a safer place.
  • 2 persons are deceased.
  • The Ladigue bridge in Petit Goâve, connecting Grand'Anse, Nippes and South to the rest of the country has collapsed, rendering these areas inaccessible (or with limited access).

The Government of Jamaica on the advice of the national Meteorological Service has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for Jamaica.

As of 5:30 a.m. there were 193 shelters opened housing a total of 3,500 persons. The parish of St.Thomas had the highest number of shelterees followed by the parish of Portland. All shelters have begun scaling down operations. In St. Ann, most shelters are deactivating and the Parish

EOC has begun scaling down its operations. Shelters in Middlesex County are deactivating as shelterees return to their homes.

No deaths or injuries related to the imclement weather have been reported. The Ministry of Health Emergency Operations Center (MOH EOC) remains activated and continues to monitor the four (4) Regional Health Authorities, thirteen (13) parish Health Departments and twentyfour (24) hospitals and 58 public and private children’s homes and Places of Safety. The MOH is also supporting data collection on the impact of the storm at shelters and other facilities. The order from the Ministry of Education for schools to remain closed is still in effect; however, schools are expected to resume on Wednesday 5 October 2016. Flight restrictions have been lifted for all airlines at the Sangsters International Airport.

The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) remains activated along with the Parish and sectoral EOCs. Assessments of the impacts are being conducted and actions taken to address these impacts, including on-going distribution of relief supplies and clearing of blocked roads. Daily press briefings via the NEOC and issuing of press releases continue. ODPEM continues to monitor the situation and update the public. Faith-based and non-governmental organizations are supporting relief efforts. Donations have been received from several agencies including the Jamaica National Commercial Bank and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Other agencies are providing and/or distributing relief supplies including the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency and the Salvation Army.

Turks and Caicos
The NEOC and district EOCs have been partially activated and all response agencies remain on alert. The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) will continue to monitor the situation and update their operational plans.

Pre-strike meetings have been held with government officials and key stakeholders to provide updates on the hurricane threat and on the ongoing national preparedness activities. The public is being kept aware of the current status of the hurricane, projected impacts and national preparedness and response plans.

The NEOC and island EOCs in South Bahamas have been fully activated. Evacuation of the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD) is ongoing in South Bahamas. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) continues to hold pre-strike meetings with its stakeholders to update their operational plan and they have commenced discussions with the CDEMA CU on possible support from the RRM, should the need arise. NEMA is working closely with the National Meteorological Services to monitor the situation.

Eastern-Caribbean Participating States
The island states impacted by the passing of Tropical Storm Matthew- Barbados, Dominica and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Saint Lucia- have deactivated their NEOCs. However damage assessments continue within the impacted sectors.

The Regional Coordination Plan (RCP) remains activated and the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) continues to be on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), the CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team, the Rapid Needs Analysis Teams (RNAT), Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Teams and CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) remain on alert for the impending threat of Hurricane Matthew on the North Western Caribbean.

The CDEMA CU has initiated the following actions:

  • Maintained regular contact with threatened/impacted Participating States (Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica and Turks & Caicos Islands).
  • Updated and shared an Operational Scenario and Plan for ‘Hurricane Matthew’ for States threatened in the North Western Caribbean. Preliminary impact assessments based on current population data and projected/actual impact were presented for the North Western PSs.
  • Conducted a briefing on Monday, October 3, 2016 with the RRM partners in the NorthWestern region. Another briefing will be conducted on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)1 provides these daily briefings with special weather interpretation of the current and forecasted tropical weather affecting the Caribbean region.
  • Regional response teams are on alert - CDRU, CDAC, COST, USAR and RNAT. An executive request was sent out by CDEMA CU to the PSs seeking personnel with technical expertise adept for deployment in any emergency or disaster environment. Agencies on standby to support the RNAT include the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and UN-OCHA.
  • Discussions with the Sub-Regional Focal Points (SRFPs) on potential initial support i.e. Trinidad and Tobago - SRFP (Southern), Barbados – SRFP (Central) and Antigua - SRFP (Eastern). Available support to include marine assets, human resources for deployment, security, Search and Rescue (SAR) teams, Regional Warehouse stocks and initial dispatch of humanitarian aid;
  • Discussions with regional and international partners on potential areas of support to any impacted Participating State.

Partners in the North-Western Caribbean have initiated the following actions:

  • International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has activated its Contingency Plan, and pre-positioned staff in Haiti and Jamaica. The IFRC regional and global response teams have been placed on alert and a Plan of Action is being drafted.
  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has deployed its United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) members to Haiti and Jamaica. Seven (7) UNDAC Team members arrived in Port au Prince on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016; two (2) will remain to support NEOC operations in Port-au-Prince and five (5) will be stationed at the department EOC in the Southern region. Seven (7) UNDAC Team members have arrived in Jamaica.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will participate in a meeting with the Government of Jamaica on Wednesday 5th October, 2016 to discuss humanitarian needs.
  • Regional Security System (RSS) has made contact with Military and Police Chiefs. The CARICOM Battalion and the RSS Airwing remain on alert.
  • The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has 7 persons on the ground in Jamaica; 3 persons were pre-deployed to the Bahamas on Sunday, October 2nd; 15 persons have been pre-deployed to Haiti and three additional persons are on standby to support public health and medical needs.
  • World Food Programme (WFP) has activated measures for preparedness. WFP has an emergency operation in Haiti which can support Jamaica as necessary.
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) / Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and has staff in Haiti, Jamaica and The Bahamas. These teams will support damage assessment and response planning. Emergency relief supplies have been strategically pre-positioned. OFDA has also confirmed its arrangements for providing support to the RRM through aerial reconnaissance. USAID/OFDA has also committed to mobilize a container of Humanitarian Aid from their Miami Regional Warehouse to support Jamaica.
  • European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) has allocated 255,000 Euros to support immediate response to Haiti (likely to be deployed through the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC)), with the possibility of additional funding being determined by assessments of the situation on the ground. ECHO will also deploy additional personnel who are expected to arrive in Haiti on October 5, 2016.
  • The British Guard Ship, RFA Wave Knight, stands ready to support the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) should the need arise. The ship is manned with an able crew and resources to facilitate response and relief efforts. Should TCI, or any of the other British Overseas Territories, not require the assistance of the Guard Ship, their response and relief efforts will be made available to another impacted PS upon request.
  • The Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) has reached out to the National Water Commission (NWC) of Jamaica offering their support.
  • Global Affairs Canada (GAC)’s Inter-departmental task force met on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 to discuss international support to Haiti.
  • The Department for International Development (DFID) has pre-deployed 2 persons in Jamaica and 4 persons in Haiti.

CDEMA continues to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 434-4880